Northern Illinois University

NIU Office of Public Affairs

News Release

Contact: Camille Coller / David W. Booth, NIU School of Theatre and Dance
(815) 753-1603

March 24, 2008

NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s
Third Onion presents ‘Parallel Lives’

DeKalb — “Parallel Lives,” written by actresses Kathy Najimy and Mo Gaffney, explores the lighter side of the war between the sexes.

The Third Onion, the student-initiated production scheme at Northern Illinois University’s School of Theatre and Dance, presents the comedy for one weekend only, April 3 through 5, at 10:30 p.m. in the Stevens Building Corner Theatre. Tickets are $3 and available only at the door. No reservations are needed.

The play opens with the creation of the world, where two angels discuss which sex will be forced to bear children and what, if anything, the other sex should do in return. The show explores the history of women’s issues, some of which have never changed, such as menstrual cycles and relationships with men.

Director Kristen Helmers comments, “The audience will recognize themselves, their best friends, their girlfriends, their wives, their sisters, and so on.” 

She explains, “We explore some touchy subjects regarding women’s issues, but intend to do so in a light-hearted manner. The show is a little quirky and done with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.”

“Parallel Lives” premiered off-Broadway and eventually became a hit television show on HBO. 

Although “Parallel Lives” was originally conceived as a two-woman show, Helmers has decided to expand it to a full ensemble cast. Co-producer Courtney Kozeluh explains that this allows each actor involved to be an intricate and more focused part of the production.

The cast features theatre studies majors Ellen DeSitter, Erin Edwards, Dakota Helmers, Courtney Kozeluh, Doug Kwiecinski, Jackie Perez, Allie Shragal, Elizabeth Sprecher and Anne Quiaoit.

The Third Onion, now in its third year, allows students at NIU to initiate their own productions – most often of plays they devise themselves. The Stevens Building is located on the NIU campus behind the McDonald’s and Pizza Hut restaurants on west Lincoln Highway. More information is available by contacting Camille Coller at the School of Theatre and Dance at (815) 753-1603.

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